On the Virtue of Goodness

In his list of virtues which comprise the fruit of Spirit working in one’s life, St. Paul lists that of “goodness” (Greek agathosune, αγαθοσυνη) about midway in the list (Galatians 5:22f). One scarcely speaks of goodness as one of the virtues anymore. In our culture describing something as “good” is rather tepid praise; it is like saying something is “okay”, and “good” comes first in our ascending ladder of praise—“good, better, best”.…

“The Queen James Bible”—Wait, What?

The existence of a “Queen James Bible” is something one might ordinarily expect to find in a recent edition of the satirical news source The Onion or perhaps a copy of Mad Magazine. But I swear the thing exists. I discovered it online (of course) when looking through a discussion about which Bible one should use for study. People had various opinions about which translation was preferable, with some opting for the…

The Tale of Tom Harpur

Tom Harpur is dead at 87, having crossed over into the other world on January 2 of this year. Most Americans may not have heard of the Reverend Thomas Harpur, who was more famous in his native Canada than down south. He was born in Toronto to an evangelical family, studied at the University of Toronto, and at the evangelical Anglican seminary Wycliffe College in that city. He was ordained a priest…

A Papal Calendar?

Christmas Day and the post-Christmas season usually bring with them a number of things not overwhelming helpful—Boxing Day stampedes, post-Christmas let-down, unwelcome news when stepping on the bathroom scale, and polemical digs about those benighted people using the “papal calendar” instead of “the Church’s Traditional Calendar”—i.e. the Julian calendar. It can be rather confusing to those outside of Orthodoxy, especially when they have been told that Orthodox Christians celebrate Christmas on January…

“Born of a Virgin?”

Part of my seasonal reading included a book by Andrew T. Lincoln, entitled, Born of a Virgin?, published by Wm. B. Eerdmans in 2013. Lincoln is a Professor of New Testament Studies at the University of Gloucestershire, and the author of commentaries on Ephesians, Colossians, and the Gospel of John. Perhaps the title should have alerted me that reading it would also form part of my seasonal literary masochism, but I couldn’t…

Charlie Brown and the Lonely Walk of Faith

If you are at all like me, it is not Christmas until you have seen the holiday special A Charlie Brown Christmas, which has been shown seasonally every year since it first appeared in 1965.  I have watched it faithfully every year since I can remember, and have the whole wonderful thing more or less memorized by heart.  Who can forget Charlie Brown taking his seat at Lucy’s outdoor doctor’s office (the sign…